Verizon to roll out LTE Cat M1 nationwide to facilitate IoT communication at low costs

Verizon to roll out LTE Cat M1 nationwide to facilitate IoT communication at low costs
U.S. telecommunication giant Verizon has announced it will start supporting LTE Cat M1, also called LTE-M, for IoT communication on a national scale. The company claims to be the first one offering nationwide Cat M1 network.

Besides the broad network roll-out, Verizon is offering the service at very low prices – US$2 per month per device.

LTE Cat M1 is a low-power network with widespread coverage, offering advantages like longer battery life for IoT devices, lower costs and better network coverage in buildings and the basement.

Verizon launched LTE Cat 1 IoT network before. Cat 1 offers higher bandwidth at higher cost compared with the old version.

The company says it will build LTE Cat M1 network on a virtualized cloud environment, enabling customers to easily and rapidly scale the service and add customized features.

Also, Verizon is pairing the LTE Cat M1 network with its ThingSpace IoT platform. ThingSpace platform will pre-load Cat M1 chipsets so that developers can directly create and manage custom applications from the network.

For instance, a connected washing machine manufacturer using ThingSpace may connect the machine to the Verizon network, allowing it to communicate with users or manufacturers by providing task status or diagnostic information.

The LTE Cat M1 chipsets pre-loaded in the ThingSpace are from Qualcomm, Verizon says. Some of Verizon’s other partners include Sequans, Telit, U-Box, Sierra Wireless, Gemalto and Altair.

In the announcement, the company also updated that network operators across 175 countries have agreed to support ThingSpace.

AT&T, Verizon’s competitor, is also planning to roll out LTE Cat M1 network nationwide by the second quarter of this year. The company will allow Cat M1 and Cat 1 to co-exist to support different use case.

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